If you’re looking to build muscle, burn fat, and get yourself into the best shape of your life, you will need to prepare yourself for quite the journey.
Getting in good shape is hard enough, but literally transforming your body and building more muscle and size than you ever thought possible?
That’s a whole other ballgame entirely.
If you’re struggling to build muscle and burn fat, and find the energy and motivation to train in the gym, you may have considered turning to the dark side and using anabolic steroids.
Anabolic steroids are incredibly effective when it comes to building muscle, burning fat, and improving athletic performance.
In fact, there isn’t much that they can’t do from an athletic perspective.
With that said, however, they need to be treated with the respect that they deserve, otherwise, you run the risk of suffering from very serious health issues.
Steroids are no joke.
They can really mess you up if you use them wrong, or if you don’t respect them, which is why today, we will be looking at what is PCT and what is the best post cycle therapy.
PCT is vital when using steroids, and to make sure you know all about it, below we’ll be looking at post cycle therapy and much more besides.
Table Of Contents
Before looking at what is PCT and what is the best post cycle therapy, we first need to get the legal stuff out of the way.
Anabolic steroids are banned and illegal substances, and if you are caught in possession of them you run the risk of falling foul of the law.
They are also very dangerous, and so for that reason, we don’t condone their use.
If you are planning on using them, however, then always buy from trusted suppliers and always use it as instructed.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s look at steroids and PCT.
It’s easy to sit here and say that steroids are dangerous, but we like to make our readers aware of how they’re dangerous in the first place.
You see, there are so many different steroids out there that listing each danger would take us an age.
What we are going to do in this section instead, is focus on some of the more general and prominent dangers associated with anabolic steroid use, to help give you an idea of why PCT is so important.
Many anabolic steroids go through a process known as aromatization.
This is where the testosterone in your system aromatizes via the presence of a specialized enzyme and converts into Estrogen.
Estrogen can then cause feminization, which is where males can take on female characteristics, especially gyno.
Gyno is where men grow breast tissue.
Steroid users also run the risk of shutting down natural testosterone production, messing up their hormone levels, gaining excess body fat, and suffering from acne and hair loss, or excessive hair growth.
Some steroids have also been found to make men infertile and to shrivel up the testicles.
Not only that, but steroids can also increase bad LDL cholesterol, which causes blockages and fatty deposits in the arteries, and can lead to heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
By running PCT after a cycle, very dangerous side-effects can potentially be avoided.
So, what is a PCT?
Well, PCT stands for Post Cycle Therapy, and it is a process used by bodybuilders and steroid users after running a steroid cycle.
To basically help minimize the risks and dangers associated with steroid use and to help return their bodies back to the states they were in before the user ran the steroid cycle in the first place.
Basically, PCT helps regulate hormones, boost internal organ health, and get everything back nice and stable.
You see after a bodybuilder has run a steroid cycle, their hormones will be all over the place and their natural testosterone production will be suppressed dramatically.
Not only that but as the steroids wear off over time, muscle wastage occurs and the body can enter a catabolic state.
Ironically, using steroids can cause you to lose muscle a little later down the line.
This is because with testosterone levels being so suppressed, the body will struggle to enter an anabolic state where it builds muscle.
Needless to say, it pays to help restore testosterone and natural hormone levels back to normal, in order to help promote muscle maintenance and optimal health and well-being.
When it comes to PCT, there are two drugs that are almost always exclusively used by bodybuilders, either individually, or both together with stronger Post Cycle Therapy stacks.
These two drugs are:
Both of these drugs are so effective because they have been found to block Estrogen at the source, which is the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus gland.
You can check our article about Clomid Vs Nolvadex.
Estrogen is responsible for Gyno, it suppresses natural testosterone, and it is pretty much about as anti-anabolic as you can get.
If you want to build muscle and remain fit and healthy as a man, high levels of Estrogen are exactly what you don’t need.
There is, however, a third drug that works incredibly well, and that drug is known as HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin.
After ending a steroid cycle, depending on which PCT supplements you choose, you can expect the following benefits from the following drugs:
First, we’ll get things moving by looking at Clomid for PCT.
Clomid is actually a synthetic form of Estrogen.
People often say that Clomid is a steroid, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth.
You see, steroids are synthetic forms of testosterone, and Clomid is a synthetic form of Estrogen.
They are exact polar opposites, which is why Clomid works so well during PCT.
You see, the vast majority of steroids out there has been found to suppress testosterone production in the human body.
This means that the testes basically struggle to produce any testosterone at all.
Steroids cause the testicles to shrink in size, which can also have a knock-on effect.
When off steroids, a bodybuilder may actually produce NO testosterone at all, which is a real problem.
There have been plenty of people that have used steroids incorrectly and have come off a cycle without running PCT, and have ended up ruining their natural test production.
This means that, for the rest of their lives, they have to receive testosterone injections as their bodies can’t make the hormone naturally.
After ending a cycle, you want to maintain as many gains as possible, not lose them within a few weeks.
This is where Clomid proves so useful.
Clomid works by stimulating the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus gland, to release what is known as gonadotropic hormones.
These hormones stimulate the gonads (hence the name) and result in the testes firing back to life, allowing them to create testosterone just as they used to before.
This not only helps boost testosterone, but it also helps increase circulation and blood flow.
Not only that, but it can also help to rid the body of Estrogen, which is important for side-effects like gyno.
Gynecomastia is where men grow breast tissue, and as you can imagine, this can be embarrassing, to say the least.
It also can’t be naturally reversed which means that surgery is the only option.
Clomid, however, is anti-estrogen as it is a synthetic form of it, so it binds to Estrogen-receptors in the body, preventing them from entering the bloodstream and the cells.
This helps prevent bloating, water retention, fat gain, and gyno.
It is worth noting, however, that Clomid is fairly weak as an anti-estrogen compound.
So if you are using steroids that cause a lot of Estrogenic side-effects, you may wish to go with Nolvadex or use the two together.
Nolvadex is another hugely effective PCT compound used by bodybuilders after they finish a cycle.
Nolvadex works in almost the same way as Clomid, and it too has a very long half-life, so it stays in the system for a long period of time.
Nolvadex and Clomid are often stacked together, as this helps to ensure that all bases are covered.
Nolvadex and Clomid are very similar, and as we have covered Clomid in so much detail above, pretty much the same principles apply to Nolvadex as they do to Clomid.
HCG is the third-most-popular PCT drug, yet it is still far too misunderstood for our liking.
This hormone is not a steroid, it is actually a peptide that is primarily found in pregnant women.
Don’t worry, however, because it is still very effective when used as part of a PCT protocol.
You see, in men, it functions similarly to other hormones responsible for natural testosterone production.
It stimulates the Leydig cells found within the testes, and basically switches them back on, telling them to start producing testosterone almost right away.
It is actually a great deal more potent than Clomid or Nolva and is therefore used by bodybuilders running powerful steroid cycles, or by bodybuilders that have been on cycle for a prolonged period of time.
Here is also our article on Aromasin Vs Arimidex.
HCG also helps to reverse atrophy in the testes, which basically means that it helps them grow back to the size that they were before.
This is vital because shrunken testes will obviously produce less testosterone than larger sized ones.
HCG has also been found to help boost the metabolism and speed up fat loss.
This is, therefore, great for bodybuilders that have just finished a cutting cycle, who wish to remain lean and ripped for the foreseeable future.
Right, so, we’ve looked at what is PCT and we’ve looked at some of the most popular PCT drugs and supplements currently available.
Before we call it a day and leave you to begin your own research into PCT and steroids in general, we need to take the time to look at why PCT is necessary in the first place.
To summarize, the key benefits of PCT include:
After all of the months of blood, sweat, and tears trying to build muscle and burn fat, the last thing you want is to suddenly come off cycle and lose your gains in a matter of days.
Without PCT, however, that is what would happen.
You see, after a cycle, your body will be in a catabolic state because testosterone levels will be so low.
You need to get them back up, which is why PCT is so vital.
We’ve looked at how the PCT helps restore testosterone, and so you can see exactly how PCT can help you to maintain your gains after ending a cycle.
PCT will have you looking big, muscular, and powerful for months on end.
By now you can see just how dangerous steroids are when it comes to testosterone production.
Some men have low testosterone levels after, while others destroy their natural production of the hormone entirely, and therefore need to rely on injections for the rest of their lives.
With PCT, however, you help get everything back to working order, so that your body can start producing testosterone once again.
Cortisol is a stress hormone which the body secretes in times of stress.
This means that after exercise, cortisol is released because, although beneficial, the body still views it as a form of stress.
Cortisol causes mood swings, fat gain, lethargy, and can force you into a catabolic state.
With PCT, however, cortisol levels quickly drop.
Reda is an ACE Certified Nutritionist, Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and bodybuilder with 11 years of experience. He's been published on many influential websites such as lifehack.org, Wealthy Gorilla, Good Men Project and more.